The Netflix Unicorn Store is a strange companion for Captain Marvel


It's rare for the stars of the biggest film of the year to come together a month later for a feature-length film, but that's not exactly what happened with Unicorn store, a new movie that hits Netflix on Friday. This is the second film of 2019 with Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson; the first, Captain Marvel, will probably remain the most profitable movie of the year up to Avengers: End of the game (definitely with Larson, probably with Jackson) is released on April 26th. Technically, however Captain Marvel is a Unicorn store meeting. Larson directed the film a few years ago, after winning an Oscar for Piece but before she called Marvel superheroes. The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and now Netflix has taken it back for wider distribution.

At first glance, Larson's first feature film is nothing like a space movie. Captain Marvelnumber 21 in the largest franchise in the world. But for fans of Larson's film Marvel Cinematic Universe who reacted not only to his place in the current Marvel narrative, Unicorn store works decently well as an accompaniment piece.

Larson plays Kit, a woman who has just left art school, summed up in a brief scene of her realization of a colorful and sincere installation painting, while she is supposed to create a self-portrait and receive the failing marks a dark overseer. The rapid visual narration of this moment should be evocative, but is it described with such a caricature (artistic program noting both by committee and by check box?) That the film seems more interested in the symbolism of the rejection of the film. establishment only by specific ideas about taste or compliance that the kit ignores.

Anyway, she pulled out of the program, so she goes home to stay with her optimistic, optimistic and discouraging parents (Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford). She gets a temporary job in a public relations firm that is more like an advertising and / or design agency. She does her best to fit into the depressing world of adults, despite her propensity for bright colors, shine, and Unicorns

Photo: Netflix

During his reluctant and clumsy attempt to prove his evidence in adulthood, Kit receives a mysterious invitation inviting him to visit a place called "The Store". She then arrives in search of an anonymous salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who promises her that if she is interested, provide her with a real unicorn alive. All she has to do is prove that she is ready to take on this responsibility by creating a suitable habitat for the animal. This mix of fantastic places and daily details – Kit spends a lot of time consulting Virgil (Mamoudou Athie), a hardware store employee, about his settings – owes a little to the magical and realistic short fiction (of the kind rejected in some corners as amateur and not serious) or maybe Charlie Kaufman.

With a childhood dream on the verge of becoming reality, Kit begins to feel truly engaged and motivated. That's where Unicorn store cuts through Larson's biggest film. In Captain MarvelLarson's Carol Danvers is a human with extraterrestrial superpowers who has no memory of her life on Earth. When she returns to her home planet, she must become familiar with who she was before receiving breathtaking powers and training as an alien warrior. Kit, meanwhile, returns to the home of her childhood and in her interests, trying to reconcile what she could become in adulthood with whom she was a whimsical and full young person. hope.

Notably, both characters face gender expectations in the process. Carol's (Jude Law) foreign liar tells her that she needs to control herself and suppress her emotions – essentially by saying that she must become a true conqueror of male stereotypes. Nobody in Unicorn store expressly tells Kit that his interest in stereotypically feminine things is an indication of his arrested development, but that, because of his lack of friends at the beginning of the film, his interests are clearly more insulating than, for example, the Judd Apatow's 25-year-old boring style habits that just wants to smoke pot and spend time with her pals.

Photo: Netflix

This tacit contrast explains why, like Carol Danvers, Kit does not fully resist the pressure on change. Men-oriented comedies dealing with emotional immaturity and late growth tend to wait until the last step before the protagonist tries his luck in adulthood. Unicorn store Kit yielding to pressure within 20 minutes after the screen. It's an intelligent touch.

It's easy to see what attracted Larson to this film and what a refreshing film it could have been. But the weirdest thing about Unicorn storeLarson's conscious quirk is the way Larson, a versatile and emotionally open-minded actor, feels absolutely baffled in playing this character, not as a quarter-life crisis. Later in the film, Kit refers to his own perverse behavior, but little is apparent on the screen, apart from some outbreaks of impatience with his parents. Frankly, the film could have used more of Kit's aggression, annoyance, and stubbornness to say who exactly is supposed to be this isolated, unicorn-obsessed artist.

Photo: Netflix

Larson plays with Kit as a charming self-conscious. ("Sorry, these are compliments," she said in her first embarrassing conversation with Virgil.) But she's also stubbornly immature, innocent enough, and alien enough to not be honestly aware of the basic rituals of the chore of office. The film focuses on what unicorns meant to Kit in his childhood, but did not leave him a convincing life beyond the film, whether it involved his childhood, his experiences at school or anything else. This makes it difficult to understand why, despite sexism, Kit's childhood brands are supposed to automatically call her socialized, rather than, for example, the potential owner of an Etsy Profit store.

This type of confusing characterization is generally more the fault of the filmmakers than the interpreters; in this case, it may indicate that Larson is not giving a bad performance instead of not doing particularly well. In her scenes with Athie or Jackson, she and the movie feel a little more relaxed, more human.

Photo: Netflix

But the film always captures more than its surface charms. In Captain MarvelIt was refreshing to see Jackson, so often in Old Mentor mode, play a younger version of Nick Fury that is not in the film to give Carol Danvers advice. Jackson and Larson are always nice to watch Unicorn storeand Jackson's unnamed salesman is not exactly Kit's mentor, but he does not do much else either. Without the specific cast, his share would represent almost nothing. When you think about it, this is true of almost every role in the movie.

It may seem reductive to look Unicorn store in terms of his more famous grand cousin, even though Netflix has almost certainly resumed Unicorn store for the release because Captain Marvel was going to the theaters. But Captain Marvel, despite all its imperatives of building the MCU world, stands better than this stable of little unicorn. Unicorn store There are moments of satirical connection, such as the promotional image created by Kit's company to sell a vacuum cleaner to modern women: an attractive woman, half-dressed and holding her baby in the vacuum. The film seems to say that the world is devoting a lot of energy to blithely incoherent messages aimed at women, based on half-cooked ideas rather than their actual experiences. As it turns out, Unicorn store do the same thing.

Unicorn store Broadcast on Netflix starts April 5, 2019. Availability in other countries may vary.

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